According to a cross-sectional analysis of data collected between 2001 and 2010, “An estimated 25.4 million, 10.7 million, 1.8 million, and 0.4 million US residents aged 12 years or older, respectively, have mild, moderate, severe, and profound better-ear hearing loss.” If you suspect you have hearing loss, you may be wondering how it would be classified in terms of severity and what your treatment options are. We review the levels of hearing loss below.
Slight Hearing Loss
Slight hearing loss describes trouble hearing sounds between 16 and 25 dB – about the volume of leaves rustling and whispering voices. Usually, this level of hearing loss is not treated.
Mild Hearing Loss
Mild hearing loss is when you can’t hear sounds between 26 and 40 decibels – you may have trouble hearing consonant sounds and have difficulty following along with voices in background noise like 8th Wonder Brewery. In many cases, hearing aids are appropriate for treatment.
Moderate Hearing Loss
Moderate hearing loss means you cannot hear sounds between 41 and 55 dB – you may have difficulty with vowels sounds as well as consonants. Many people with this level of hearing loss they can hear but not understand what people are saying. Hearing aids can be greatly beneficial.
Moderately Severe Hearing Loss
Moderately severe hearing loss describes problems with sounds between 56 and 70 dB – you won’t be able to hear normal speech at all. You may need a powerful hearing aid to communicate.
Severe Hearing Loss
Severe hearing loss means you cannot hear sounds between 71 and 90 dB – you probably can’t hear speech even if someone is speaking loudly or shouting. Hearing aids can sometimes provide benefit, but cochlear implants are often more effective.
Profound Hearing Loss
Profound hearing loss means you cannot hear sounds as loud as 91 dB – you may miss loud warning signals like car horns and fire alarms. While cochlear implants can help you communicate, many people with profound hearing loss prefer to communicate with sign language.
An audiologist can conduct a thorough hearing evaluation to diagnose your exact degree of hearing loss. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Hearing Systems today.